Tesco, Telefonica team up for Czech mobile service

PRAGUE, March 14 Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:25pm EDT

PRAGUE, March 14 (Reuters) - British retailer Tesco and Telefonica Czech Republic will launch a mobile phone service in the central European country, the companies said on Thursday.

Tesco Mobile will use Telefonica's existing telecoms infrastructure and Tesco's 232 stores across the country.

The two companies already have a joint venture in Britain where they serve 3 million clients, they said in a statement.

Tesco Mobile will widen the offering of telecoms services dominated by Telefonica, T-Mobile and Vodafone but will also help defend Telefonica's market share against the expected arrival of more 'virtual' mobile operators.

Virtual operators rent infrastructure from existing networks but their entry to the Czech market has been slowed by the unwillingness of incumbents to let competitors in.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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